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Full text of "DataDomain-1982-01"


January/February 1982 



This Issue of The Data Domain newsletter celebrates tha sixth anniversary of The Data Domain, 
The past six years have seen a revolution In the world of small computers, and The Data Domain 
has been a significant part of that revolution. Examples of the distance small computing has 
traveled In these years can tie seen throughout this issue of the Newsletter. We have features on 
two of the newest entries: the Osborne 1, the first computer that comes complete with 
applications software at the price of a good stereo; and the NEC, one of the first of the 
Japanese competitors. We have features on software for the machine that made personal computers 
a national popular phenomenon, the Apple II. The Data Domain has been part of this microcomputer 
revol ution from the earl lest days of the do- It-yoursel f idts to today' s sophi sticated hardware 
and software that comes ready to solve all manner of problems from tax returns to wordprocessing 
to record keeping. This is Just the beginning, so stay tuned. 

John V. LombardI, Editor 



Ray Remembers 

It is bard to believe that I've spent over six years of my life in this business. Especially 
when you consider that in the 32+ years since I graduated from high school, the longest I've been 
with any one employer was the five and a half years In the U>S. Army. 

Although this industry, tiorn only a few years ago in mid-1975, hasn't matured very much-, the past 
six years have seen tremendous change. 

Most of the pundits of microland have the story of the small computer industry all wrong. They 

constantly tout the founders of Apple, Vector Graphics, Alpha Microsystem, etc., as being the 
entrepreneurs who created a new industry. That Is just not the whole story. It Is true that 
traditionally (at least in this high technology area) new companies have been founded by people 
who perceive a need, have the credentials and persuasive power to obtain the backing of venture 
capital, or use their personal resources to finance their projects. As a cofounder of ADDS, I'm 
most familiar with this process. I'm also personally acquainted with the founders and backers of 
a fair number of such companies. 

But our industry is distinctly different, and I'm disappointed that so little recognition of this 
difference Is apparent, especially in the various business schools we come in contact with 
through our university customers. 



January/February 1982 



The Data DcMiiain Newsletter 



This difference is simple. The microcomputer industry was created by the pioneer retai lers . Now 
if that sounds like an ego trip, let me explain. When the first computer store opened in July of 
1975 there were Altair computer kits by MiTS, with Cromemco's Dazzler close behind. By the time 
The Data Domain opened in February of 1976 there were about 11 computer stores (all but one, 
maybe two are gone now), and Byte, SCCS Interface. Dr^ Dobbs Journal and the tabloid. There 
was the IMSAI computer, as well as equipment from Processor Tech, Tarbell, and a ^^P^^ 
others. There was no Apple, Vector Graphic, Dynabyte, Alpha Micro. PET, TRS-80, or the other b.g 
names of the present industry. Computer stores were opening rapidly and we had a very limited 
product to sell, while demand was incredible. It was so strong, the dealers so inexper.enced 
the custodiers so patient that we, the early retailers accepted discounts ranging from "«+hMng to 
a high of 25$. We paid in advance, or C.O.D., for products that didn't exist, based on promises 
from people we had never met (Steve Jobs of Apple among them), just to get something to sell. 
The manufacturers had it made. They were paid C.O.D. or in advance by dealers, telephone 
customers, mail order customers, and when they accunni I ated -enough orders to pay for the parts or 
impress the banks, they produced the_prod^ct. It wa^ a _senersjnaj-ke1^ andj^^^ 
—any deaT they couTd^et, 

The only software in existence in those days were various versions ^^'J'^"'^" 
rewrites of Intel's Assembler/Editor and bootleg copies of Microsoft Altair 4K/8K Basic 
-Manufacturers" were garage operations. The principals could not "^^^^^ '^J;/^^^^^^ 
capitalists, and so depended on the mail order, telephone, and big orders from retailers 
pre-Jl or C.O.D., for thei- cash. Remember that back then very few products were sold 
assembled and tested. Most were sold as Kits, so there was no ^IrZZl 
production and burn-in facilities. All you needed was a good printed '^'^"'^J^^;;*'^/^ 
Lufactured by companies who specialized in p.c. boards) and a source of I.C.s and other parts, 
some sort of manual, shipping boxes, and sales literature. 



It 



Anyway, I say that it wasn't the manufacturers who "created" the personal computer industry 
iTthe retailers, whose demand for something to sell, and willingness to accept those terms, 
that injected the capital to develop an industry. 

Enough useless philosophy, the two most important things I can say this month are: 

AS of Monday, February ist, 1981, we are officially dealers for the ^^'^-^ ' ^^^^j 
! ere is no way we can beat the S1795 price. If you add up ^^/^^V^ ^^^^ '"^.^'^ ^ 
software packages they total about S1500 at list. This and a complete computer for J17957 More 
on this machine below in the Newsletter. 

, Not only is it our birthday month, but it is inventory tax time. We've still got a lot of 

through it. If you don't like the price tag, see me or Roy and haggle a bit. 1 ve priced these 
Ilems at w at 1 Jhink are fair prices, designed to give you a good deal and m.nimize our losse 
?t. But I have always been sympathetic to a real need with limited dollars to spend, so I can 
at least be counted on to listen to any offer. 

Happy birthday to us. 
Ray Borr i 1 1 



From the Apple Pit 

.t-s time for the first upswelling from the Apple-Pit for 1962. The new year has started with 
all kinds of new software and hardware available for the Apple II. 



2 



January/February 1982 



The Data Domain Newsletter 



Have you seen the announcements of the intelligent printer interface cards for the Apple H? One 
such card that has been advert ised recent I y i s the Microbuf f er I I . The card conta ins its own 
mi croprocessor , ROM, and RAM, The ROM conta ins built-in print formatt i ng and graph i cs dump 
routines to avoid the necess I ty of load ing separate programs. The RAM ( up to 52K) a I lows a 
hardware pr Int S|>ool ing, and a Snapshot opt ion a I lows vi deo ' frame-grabbi ng ' into the print 
spooling buffer to dump screens from uninterrupted programs to the printer. The 32K card is $299 
plus $69 for the Snapshot option, 

Videx has a new add-on for your Apple, the Enhancer-ll, The Enhancer-ll is meant to be installed 
on revision 7 or latter Apple-Hs (recognized by the piggy-back keyboard encoder board below the 
keyboard and the 2316 character generator ROM in the motherboard). The standard Apple keyboard 
is upper case only and is designed to allow entry of 91 out of the possible 128 ASCII characters. 
The standard Apple keyboard does not have aoto-repeat (this feature can be added: see the 
article in the January issue of Nibble magazine). The Apple keyboard has a one character buffer. 
Consequently, if you type anything while the Apple is otherwise busy, only the last character 
typed is remembered. The Videx board replaces the piggy-back board below the Apple keyboard with 
an Intel I igent board containing a '6504 processor. Pairs of keys toggle the Apple-Enhancer 
combination between two modes, effectively doubling the Apple keyboard. All 128 ASCII characters 
can be entered into the Apple, The board contains a type-ahead buffer of 128 characters which 
can be enab I ed or d i sab I ed (a necessary feature for a 1 1 you Gobbl er f ans ) . The Enhancer a I so 
al lows user definable keyboard macro commands. These can either be entered manual ly from the 
keyboard or from a previously prepared disk, A single keystroke can cause a string of up to 510 
characters to be entered into the Apple, or multiple macros can be defined as long as the total 
number of characters defined at any given time does not exceed 510. 

There are now two 8088 cards available for the Apple. ...now maybe a little price war...? Memory 
has gone that way. Saturn has a 128K RAM card for the Apple now at S599, These memory prices 
are becoming comparable to disk drive prices so the large memory cards are becoming alternatives 
to extra drives that are only required for file manipulation or sorts in some programs, 

John Prather 



The Osborne 1 at The Data Itomain 

On February 1st, The Data Domain wi I I become an authorized dealer and service center for the 
Osborne 1 personal and business computer. In future Issues of the Newsletter we will highlight 
var 1 ous features of this remarkab I e and i nnovat i ve mach i ne. For now, a quick overv I ew will 
introduce the machine. 

The Osborne t represents an unusual approach to the small computer business. The machine sells 
for $1795, is completely self-contained, and comes provided with a comprehensive software library 
at no extra charge. Unlike most machines in its class, the Osborne I is very portable. Although 
the computer can be used as a stand-alone microcomputer, it is especially well suited as a 
trave I i ng work stat i on that cart be used i n con j unct ion w i th more e I aborate m i crocomputers at 
d i f ferent locat ions. 

What about the software? As a general purpose computer, the Osborne } comes with software for 
word process i ng, numer i ca ( ca I cu I at i ons, two Bas I c dial ects , and the CP/M operat i ng system. For 
word process ing, the Osborne 1 has Wordstar, wh i ch rema i ns the standard of excel I ence for 
microcomputers. Numerical appi i cat ions can be handled by Supercalc, one of the finest 
spreadsheet calculating programs in the micro marketplace. The Supercalc program, very similar 
to Visicalc, permits a worksheet of 64 rows and 126 columns and has a wide range of commands for 



5 



January/February 1982 



The Data Domain Newsletter 



the manipulation of data within this matrix. 

The computer comes with two Basics. C8ASIC, a business-oriented version of Basic, is a 
compiler-interpreter language with many extensions and commands essential for complex business 
programming. MBASIC is a quick, interpreted language that is ideal for short problem solving. 
Both languages are from l^icrosoft, and there is a wide range of software available In these 
dialects. 

The entire pacloge is integrated around the CP/M operating system, an industry standard that 
permits a great variety of software to be used on the Osborne 1 computer. 

This outstanding small computer comes with two disk drives and a built-in 5" monitor that 
provides a 52-character window onto a 128 character line with automatic horizontal scrolling. 
The machine has a monitor interface that will connect to- any standard external monitor. The 
keyboard is typewriter standard and includes a numeric keypad and cursor control keys. 



This machine has a Z80A central processor chip with eflK of random access memory. The disk drives 
have lOOK bytes of storage each. In addition, an RS-232C interface is built in for communication 
with a modem or printer and an IEEE 488 interface is also standard. The computer can be upgraded 
to double density disk drives In March or April for $200. 

What is amazing about this package is its revolutionary low price of $1795. Given the software 
package included, this microcomputer Is surely the best buy in the industry. This has resulted 
in great demand for the limited quantities of Osborne Is available. 



Price Reduction on NEC Computer Systems 

The NEC computer system, for which The Data Data l>>main has been a dealer for some time, has a 
new lower price. Thanks to a price reduction from NEC, The Data Domain is able to sell this 
remarkably powerful microcomputer at the prices listed betow. 

Built around a Z80A compatible chip, this machine provides a wealth of powerful features for 
those interested in business, education, or wordprocessing appi ications. Like most 
microcomputers in its class, the NEC PC-8000 series can run either under its own operating system 
or the standard CP/M. It has a flexible configuration, but the basic machine consists of a 
keyboard unit (PC-8001A), an I/O unit <PC-8012A) for expansion slots and connection to disk 
(drives, the duai mini dl-sk. drives (EC^QilA), and. a monitor.. .NECniakes a very high quality color 
monitor and supplies a fast, high quality dot-matrix printer (PC-8025A). 

Although a detailed description of the many features of this exceptional microcomputer is beyond 
the scope of the Newsletter, some features deserve special emphasis. This computer has 
outstanding graphics capabilities Including 8 colors displayed In a crisp 160 by 100 matrix. The 
display screen can be configured in a variety of ways from 80 to 36 characters on 20 or 25 lines 
to fit any imaginable terminal requirement. There is a standard Centronics printer interface 
included and a TTL- level serial port that will operate at 300 to 4800 baud. The computer comes 
with its own Basic dialect with advanced features such as multiple statements per line, multiple 
dimension arrays. Print Using, and various color functions. 

The NEC I/O unit provides great flexibility through the provision of 7 extra slots for add-on 
devices. In addition, this unit permits the expansion of the machine's memory from 32K standard 
to 128«. The disks are connected to the computer through the !/0 unit, and the interrupt control 
circuitry implements 8 priority levels. 

NEC's PC-8023A printer provides 100 characters per second speed in a dot-matrix, bi-directional. 



4 



January/February 1962 



The Data Domain Newsletter 



logic-seeking mechanism. The printer has either tractor or friction feed and includes the 
complete character set available on the NEC microcomputer including upper/lower case ASCII, 
Greek, mathematic, and graphic characters. The printer can also produce dot graphic screen 
images on paper. It operates on an industry standard parallel interface. Font sizes include 126 
column, 17 characters/ inch compressed format to 40 column, 5 characters/inch expanded format at 6 
or 8 lines per inch. The printer also has the capacity to do 1/144" line feeds. 

In sum, this is a superior set of products, and the price reductions outlined below make it an 
excellent microcomputer value, 

NEC Item Reduced Price Old Price 



This is the time of year we all spend hours sorting through our old check stubs and other records 
to get materials together for the annual ritual of Income tax preparation. Fortunately, much of 
the drudgery and compi icat ion of prepar ing those IRS forms can be automated. Several good 
packages are available that turn the Apple II computer Into an efficient tax preparation system. 
Although none of these programs wll I make substantive tax decisions for you, they do nnake the 
preparation of forms a snap. Moreover, because form preparation is so easy, it is possible to do 
your taxes two or three different ways to see how the result works out. 

The Tax Preparer by HowardSoft i s a comprehensi ve program for tax form preparation. It costs 
$ too plus another $35 for the updated tax tab I es for 1 98 1 returns, Th i s program i s 
professional ly presented and has arrangements for ai i the lettered schedules tA, B, C, D, E, F, 
G, R and RP, SE, and TO, It also includes several forms including 1040 , 2106 , 2210, 3468 , 4562, 
4726, 4797, and 5695, This package of programs provides a clear set of Instructions for 
preparing data and forms. 

Tax Beater from Datamost by Jack and Carol Lennard Is a second program that will do an excellent 
job of helping prepare taxes, Th i s package has some i nterest i ng rout 1 nes that opt 1 ml ze your 
return by trying out various possibilities for schedules and arrangements within the return to 
produce the lowest possible tax. In addition, this package will compare your deduction pattern 
against the typical patterns published by the IRS and alert you to deductions that might be out 
of line and trigger an audit. This program takes the usual schedules and forms and sells for 
$130. 

The Tax Manager by Micro Lab is a similar program that sells for $150 complete with the 1981 tax 
tables included. This package includes the following schedules: A, B, D, E, G, and SE, It also 
prepares these forms: 1040. 2106, 2210, 2441, 3468, 4625, 4726, 5695, and 6251. These three 
packages are comprehens i ve and profess i ona I I y prepared , The Tax Manager has a somewhat eas i er 
procedure to fol low and is more forgiving of operator errors whi le the Tax Beater has the 
optimizing feature. All of these programs will do an excellent job of preparing the necessary 
forms for the IRS, and all have clear manuals. 

SuperScr i be II: Wordprocessing for the Apple II 

On-Line Systems has had SuperScribe II available for some time and The Data Domain staff has been 



PC-8001A Microcomputer 
PC-8012A I/O Unit 

PC-8031A Mini Disk Drive (2 drives) 
PC-B023A Printer (Dot-Matrix) 



S 995 

$ 645 

$' 995 

$ 645 



S 1295 

S 795 

S 1295 

$ 795 



Tax Helpers fo r the Apple 



5 



January/February 1962 



The Data Domain Newsletter 



evaluating tiiis word processor , along with a number of others. In these tests It has become clear 
that the current version of Superscribe li is a superior product. The program provides Apple II 
and I I + users w ith a remarkabi y powerful text ed it ing and formatti ng package that r 1 va I s such 
ste I I ar performers as WordStar . A I though th I s short not i ce can not do j ust I ce to the many 
advanced features of this program, a general description will give a good idea of the package's 
features. 

The first feature of SuperScribe II that catches your eye is that this wordprocessor will provide 
upper/lower case display on the Apple screen without any extra hardware. That means there is no 
need to purchase lower case chips, or other special hardware add-ons to make this program perform 
its best. Moreover, Superscribe not only provides lower case display on the screen it will give 
you 70 col umns on the Apple screen without any hardware adapters. To be sure, th is 70 col umn 
mode is difficult to use on a standard color tv, but It works exceedingly well on an inexpensive 
monitor. If your Apple has had the shift-key modified, a vary simple operation that can be 
performed at The Data Domain, Superscribe II will recognize the shift key just as a typewriter 
wniiiri, 'juppr Jjr.Lha- jJ-Eo-. giua r. yn u . a siap4e+y - of- ■choTacters-not- iTOrffiat I y avaflatTt^ on the Apple 
screen such as the underline. 

The Superscribe Editor has many features to make the entry and modification of text simple and 
efficient. Rather than list these here, let it suffice to say that anything any of the other 
Apple wordprocess I ng editors can do, SuperScribe does with very few exceptions. The program 
does, however, have some un 1 que features that recommend it to ser lous wr Iters, F irst, the 
program wi I I handle f 1 les as long as 65K. That is close to three times as large as most 
comparable programs. This is accompi ished through the use of the disk as an extension of the 
App 1 e memory. Second , the ed 1 tor perm 1 ts a I arge number of custom 1 zed macros. These are 
sequences of keys that are Invoked by pressing one key. Although the utility of this facility 
may not be immed iatel y apparent, anyone who has complex text to enter will be del Ighted to be 
able to reproduce an often typed word or phrase with a single key stroke. The editor also allows 
the entry of special characters for the control of printers, and anything else that might cross 
your mind. 

The Superscribe 1 1 formatter, cal led Runoff, does al I the normal things such as justification, 
margins, indents, underl ines, boldface, headers and footers, and more. But in addition there Is 
a very interesting hyphenation feature that permits the Insertion of hyphens in words that will 
not fit on the line. This Is done during the printing of the document when each word that may be 
a candidate for hyphenation is shown on the screen and the user can decide where the appropriate 
hyphenations might be. The computer then decides which possible hyphenation will work best in 
the line, uses that one, and Ignores the rest. This produces a much nicer looking line. Alsc^ 
the program supports special features of printers such as the Diablo that have incremental 
spacing. The formatting program will fill out a justified line by distributing microspaces 
between words, rather than whole spaces. This makes for a much more evenly displayed text. That 
is how this Newsletter Is formatted. 

The program has other features such as a powerful indexing utility, and a host of print time 
opt 1 ons that make the preparat 1 on of comp I ex text re I at I vel y easy. Because It requ 1 res no 
special hardware and is available at the low price of 1149.00, this wordprocessor is a Data Doman 
Best Buy. 



The General Manager: Apple Data Base System Review 

The increasing use of Apple II microcomputers for business applications has led to a 
proliferation of data base and file managing programs. These vary from the most sophisticated 
and elaborate data base mangement systems to relatively simple file and record managers. No one 
program will be satisfactory for all users, and for that reason. The Data Domain carries a 



6 



January/Tatjruary 1982 



The Data Domain Newsletter 



wi«ty of packages such as The Data Factory, OB Master, and a new program from On-Line Systems 
callad Tim General Manager. 

The General l>lanager qualifies as a sophisticated data base management system. It is powerful, 
flexible, and adaptable. Moreover, it has a number of features that make it quite easy to use. 
This package operates through a hierarchical system. Within the data base, items are organized 
in terms of their relationships within a hierarchy or organized structure. For example, a data 
base system to manage a personnel records operation would be organized around individuals. There 
■ould be a main record with the name of the individual, then there would be subsidiary records 
with information about salaries, about positions, about benefit plan participation, and any other 
rel ated information, S imi I ar I y, with in th is h ierarch ica I structure a subord i nate record may 
Itsel f have subord i nates, so the record about sa I ar les cou I d i nci ude records on salar les in 
hourly work and records on jobs with monthly salaries. This ability to link subjects in terms of 
these various types of records provides a powerful analytical tool. 

As shou I d be obv i ous from th i s examp I e, such a system perm i ts extreme I y f 1 ex I b fe records 
organ i zat i on . Just about any system imag i nab I e can be constructed w 1 th The Genera I Manager . 
Part of the flexibility of this package is a" result of its carefully arranged system for creating 
screens of Information. These screens are the principal way the program communicates with the 
user, and the ability to design these screens in practically any way desired to reflect almost 
any data processing need is a major attraction of this package. l*>revoer, the program allows the 
user to specify ranges of acceptable data entries, and this error checking capability lets a 
company set up data entry procedures that relatively untrained operators can use. 

The General Manager permits virtual ly any mathematical calculations a I lowed in Applesoft Basic 
using any data contained within the data files of the program. Special calculated screens can be 
created that permit the aggregation and presentation of the information contained in other 
screens. 

This flexibility is availabile not only when you first design an application, but is also 
applicable at any time after the data base has been designed and constructed. New fields, new 
screens, and new organizational arrangements can be introduced into a previously created data 
base. 

Reports based on Information In the data base can be easily designed and prepared by The General 
Manager. Output screens or printed output can both be created with very i ittle effort. 
Moreover, the program has a faci I ity for send ing output to a d i sk file in standard format for 
subsequent input into a wordprocessing program such as Superscribe 11. 

If the built-in flexibility of The General Manager Is not adequate for some special application, 
the program has an unusual interface to Applesoft Basic. Through the 4 command of the Applesoft 
language it Is posslbl e to access the data structures of The Genera I Manager and perform any 
manipulations with that data possible on the Apple computer. The manual provides examples of 
this facility which adds even more power to the standard package. 

The size of the data base is limited only by the number of data disks you are prepared to use. 
The program can handle up to tOO data disks as part of a single data base. Many small business 
applications will find it more practical to create several related data bases instead of one very 
large one. The program also permits lower case input with the Videx keyboard enhancer and will 
recognize and use a 16K RfM card. 

Small business users with a need for sophisticated, flexible, and easy to use data management 
systems should come in to The Data Domain and look closely at The General Manager. 



7 



January/February 1982 



The Data Domain Newsletter 



The Data Domain Anniversary Sale 



Introducing the Osborne I 



Osborne 1 computer plus software: list price S 1795.00 
C. lOTH FIO 40CPS Dalsywheei Printer: list price J 1995.00 
Computer-printer cable; list price i 59.95 



Total: list price J 3849.95 



TOTAL: SALE PRICE $ 3595.00 

This includes Software Minillllll 



Specal prTces^also on accessories for the Osborne 1. 

Ntondapt II, Osborne 1 extefnal video adapter to Zenith or other monitor with cable: t44.95 

Parallel printer cable for Epson, Centronics, NEC-type matrix printers: t59.95 

Keyboard Extender Cable. Standard is 12". An extender can add up to 4 feet of additional cable. 
Extender cable costs S29.95 for the first foot and 15.00 for each additional foot. 

Software modifications to WordStar to drive Epson, Okl, and NEC matrix printers: tSO.OO 



Software modifications to SuperCalc to drive Epson, Oki, and NEC matrix printers: S50.0Q 



m Data Dokaih inc. 

2T\ W. OODDS STREET 
8LO0MINGT0M. IN 47401 
(812) 334-3607 



PwnA Ha. 206 
BtBamlagtan, IN 



BULK RATE 
U.S. POSTABE 



PAID 



Hours 
Tubs, thnj Sat. 
10-6 



CLL GRAPHICS 



2153 COUEHANTER 
BLOOMINQTON IN 



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OrdH Numb«r: 
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